Friday, November 16, 2007

Here goes...

I’m sure this comes as no surprise to any of you, but we still don’t have the internet. Ian has spent a large number of hours calling our ‘provider’ – IF you can really call them that – to find out what the problem is. We have been told at least 5 times that we will have the internet in 10-15 days and always to no avail. One guy told us he wouldn’t even estimate how long it would be because he didn’t want to lie to us.. Seems like he’s the only one concerned about that. But as of yesterday, we have been told yet again that we will have the internet in 10-15 days. Do we believe them? Not really. Are my hopes up anyway? Definitely.

Well, way back when it was Reformation Day/Halloween we had a celebration that involved eating some German treats, drinking some German/monk-related beer, and watching the movie Luther with some friends.
Here is a picture of the spread that we had…

First you see the German ‘Heidesand’ cookies. They are like a butter cookie with a light sugar coating – yes they were homemade, and they were tasty! Then the pile of chocolate stuff is a plate of German no-bake cookies. I don’t know what makes the recipe German, but that’s what it was called so we went with it. They were REALLY good. I made them Scotland style, so I had to substitute a bunch of things that were supposed to be in them, but they were very delectable. Then you can see Vanessa’s hand cutting into some Stollen that Pete and Jo brought. It’s kind of like a fruit cake, but it’s soaked in rum and all kinds of other stuff and is quite popular around here.. It’s German too. And lastly you can see a little round chocolate cake. Not, as you might think, a German chocolate cake, but let me show you a close up…

If you look closely you can see this is a chocolate INDULGENCE cake – very relevant to the Reformation :) And very clever work by Pete and Jo.

Then we have the beers.. We had Augustijn (Belgian), Kapuziner (German), Warsteiner (German), Jacobite (nothing to do with the Reformation, just one Ian wanted to try), and Blackfriar (Made in Scotland, but had a monk on the front)

Ian picked out these 5 and everyone had a taste (well, not exactly everyone, but most) of a few of them. Ian’s personal fav was the Jacobite.

Then we decided to take pictures of our friends who were there to show you that they do exist, they’re not just in our imaginations!

This is Pete and Jo. They are the ones who had us over to their house where Ian fed the horse. Jo is working on her PhD and she is from Darbyshire (I think, wherever Jane Austin said was the prettiest place in England). Pete is finishing up his undergrad degree and I think he’s from Washington (you can tell I’m really good at remembering details) and wants to be a pastor. He works at a local coffee shop called Zest. They are cute little newlyweds and the newest newlyweds of the group :)

This is Will (from D.C.) and Vanessa (from Texas). Will is working on an MLitt just like Ian, but in the divinity department, not the philosophy dept. Vanessa is working at a bakery in town where you can get the very tasty, chocolateless fudge donuts. We basically lived the same life all summer preparing to come here, we both have a deep appreciation for ‘The Office’, and we spend a lot of our time with them. We went to Edinburgh with them on Wednesday, which I will post about as soon as I get the pictures on the computer. Will and Vanessa are also newlyweds. Hence this picture…

And finally, here is Kelly and Elliott. Sometimes they are called Kelliott. They used this cute little name as their email address and now we can’t get it out of our heads! I started calling them that jokingly, and now I’m often confused when talking about them and say things like ‘Elliott and Kelliott’.. Makes for some good times :)
Anyway, Elliott is from Alaska and Kelly is from Oregon. This may be surprising since you might assume they met out West somewhere, but they actually met at college in Michigan. They are both working on MLitts here and Kelly is expecting a baby in early April, just like Hope. Kelly and I often commiserate about never feeling like we have enough recipes and help each other come up with ideas. They are also newlyweds.

To sum it up, we love all of them and spend lots of time together. Ian and I are basically the old married couple of the group :) They all have some pretty great, sometimes hysterical meeting/dating/engagement stories too.
I’ll have to get pictures of some more friends so that we can introduce you to some others as well.

Oh and here is Ian and I at the party – Ian’s got his beer, his Heidesand cookie, and his girl… what more could you want?

In other news… Ian and I are officially Historic Scotland members.. How cool is that?! This deal is much like the Young Persons railcard, in that, when you buy it you feel like you just paid half your savings for it, however, it pays itself off very quickly and then saves you all kinds of money. This one applies to castles and sites, however, not to the rail. So, we paid GBP 52.00 for both of us and can now go into any Historic Scotland site we want for free! We also get a 20% discount on any silly souvenirs we want, and 20% off of some sites in England, and a bunch of other stuff. So far, by purchasing this, we have saved GBP 50.00 because of our 2 visits to St Rule’s tower and the castle here in St Andrews, and our visit to Edinburgh castle. I’m thinking it will pay for itself many times over. Also, every time you go somewhere, you get a cool stamp saying you’ve been there! That’s our favorite part :)

Finally, we are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with our ‘Scottish Family’ The Ellis family!!!! We already have big plans thanks to Katie’s organizational skills and are going to head to Dunnottar castle while we’re there. I’m also really excited to revisit Poundland (EVERYTHING is only 1 pound) and I’m excited because when we get back I get to start decorating for Christmas! I didn’t think I would really care about it all that much, but I am so excited this year to make some decorations – should be fun!

So, I’ll work on posting about our time in Edinburgh, as well as our time with the Ellis clan, and you all just keep praying that we get the internet soon! We love you!


  1. Ian, I never realized you were such the beer connoisseur. Blessins to you both...Rob

  2. The problems you've been having getting the internet are the same we've been having getting cable tv here in Dublin. This is not new technology, whats the problem ! They installed our cable box and then scheduled a follow up visit in 10 days to calibrate it or something. So we sit and wait, looking at a bunch of fuzzy lines on the TV trying to guess what show it is.

    in reference to an older post, we also have issues with the washer/dryer combo doesn't dry so much as make everything hot & damp...grrrrr

    Glad to see you're enjoying your new home. Love your blog.

    Cheers !

  3. We have noticed that you have recently been discussing Poundland online and would like to let you know that Poundland now have a Facebook account and blog ( to help two-way communication.

    With short-run products and quick turnover of stock we wanted to make sure we could let you know of new products and offers as fast as possible. Regular updates to Facebook and the blog do this and also allow you to post comments for us and others to respond to.

    We hope you like what we are doing. We look forward to hearing from you.